When evaluating the question “what salary should I expect?” for any given job, it is helpful to consider what “pay” means and how you should respond.
Pay is more than a compensation for time, talent or effort. It is a valuation of a person’s contribution to the greater cause. A person is paid by an organization to keep them doing what they are doing. When that pay wains, remains constant, or undervalues the effort being put forth, a person will choose to find somewhere else to contribute.
Pay is also a way of saying, “We need you to keep doing what you are good at.” Think about it: CEO’s are paid to lead, visioneer and strategize. Football players are paid to protect their skill, strengthen their bodies and execute their position well. A chef is paid to continue making signature dishes that set him or the restaurant apart.
Pay is a monetary strategic move to protect the skills of a person who is working toward a specific purpose.
Therefore, we can deduce that if a person is being paid for a certain job, they need to do it with the utmost excellence. If they see another job that intrigues them or a worker who perhaps is struggling, they can offer to help, but not at the expense of what they were hired to do. For example, if the tight end on a football team sees that the quarterback position is flailing, it would not be right for him to stop being the tight end and start being the quarterback in an effort to help. The person was hired for the tight end and his pay is to guarantee that he will play that position the best it can be played.
Pay is a compensation and so much more. It a valuation and a protection of a person’s specific role and skill. The employer must compensate at a level that shows value to that person. Similarly, the employee must execute at a level of diligence and intentionality at the job they are being paid to accomplish. When either side of this agreement fails to do this, the working relationship will eventually fall apart.
So how do I respond to my pay?
- Stay humble. If you think you get paid a lot or if you think you don’t get paid enough, don’t flaunt your feelings. It could be that you value your work more than your employer, so don’t go in with gun blazing to demand more. Work hard as unto the Lord first (Ephesians 6:5). Then, if you think your pay needs to be addressed, talk with your employer in the most humble way possible. Also, if you are paid quite well, use it as incentive to keep working hard and don’t talk about your pay to others.
- View the pay you get as a protection and value of your gifts. Work hard at what you’ve been asked to do and continue to get better. Never assume you have arrived.
- Be faithful and generous. Yes, of course, be faithful to your job, but be faithful to your Lord. Work for Him and see all your skills and pay as from Him. Give then, generously to your local church and to other missions of God.
Ephesians 6:8, “And you who are bosses, be good to your servants also. Do not talk loud, hard words to them. Remember that both their Lord and yours is in heaven. He does not love one person more than another” (WEV).